The MmIT National Conference 2012 was held on the 17th April at the University of Sheffield.
Reduced budgets? Increased impact!
Increasing LIS impact with new technologies
Keynote speakers are Ross Mahon, Apps Edu Evangelist, from Google and Marshall Breeding, of the Library Technology Guides (librarytechnology.org).
Workshop sessions include:
There will also be Expert Q&A; 5 minute quick fixes; Interactive voting session and tours of University of Sheffield’s Information Commons.
Conference web site:http://www.cilip.org.uk/get-involved/special-interest-groups/multimedia/events/
You can also keep up with the conference on Lanyrd: http://lanyrd.com/2012/mmit2012/.
Cost: £120 (incl VAT) for MMIT members; £156 (incl VAT) for non members. A limited number of reduced price places are available for unwaged and students.
Claire Bell, Multimedia Librarian at Aberdeen Central Library shares her views of Internet Librarian International and other recent conferences.
Internet Librarian International 2011 (ILI 2011) was a thought provoking and information packed conference. On my return to Aberdeen, as I tried to describe to colleagues just what it had all been about, I found great difficultly in summing it up concisely. My head was reeling with all the information. So much had been covered both during the presentations and in talks with other participants. Gradually I realised that I kept coming back to the same topic. This was not a main theme of the conference but underlies much of the work that was presented and spoken about.
Use of the internet for professional development and information sharing.
Observing how information given at the conference was shared with delegates, and comparing this with other conferences and meetings attended, gave me food for thought. Gradually, and to differing degrees, Information Professionals are learning to use new technology to ensure that learning experiences are not trapped in real time and single geographical locations but can be shared across time and space.
As mentioned above, attending ILI 2011 was somewhat like delving into a deep and richly filled Christmas hamper. The choice of presentations was huge, but you were never quite sure what it was that you were getting. As is often the way with conferences, what was said on the label, in this case the very professionally presented schedule, was not always what was to be found in the tin. However, the content was always nourishing. In addition, as the conference ran three concurrent strands, it was often difficult to choose which event to attend. Often two talks that I wished to attend were held at the same time.
The conference organisers must have recognised in advance that these might be problems for delegates, as slides for each presentation were posted on the ILI 2011 site. This ensured that a missed talk, either through mislabelling or a clash of the schedule, was not altogether lost. However, on their own, without the soundtrack to the talk, some of the slides made little sense. Delegates who had missed a talk and who tried to recapture it once home could not turn back time.
This conundrum was also faced by the experimental Library 2.011 (http://www.library20.com/page/2011-conference) conference which followed on shortly after ILI 2011. Library 2.011 was a purely online free event held in multiple time zones over the course of two days. In contrast to ILI 2011, if you missed a presentation, for example, because it was held at 3 am in your time zone and you preferred to be asleep, you could ‘turn back time’ and watch what you had missed! Indeed, as I draft this article a few weeks after the close of the conference, the recordings and accompanying slides are still available online. This is also a solution taken in Cambridge for TeachMeet events. All talks are recorded and made available on YouTube afterwards for those who could not attend. (Email from Isla Kuhn, Reader Services Librarian, University of Cambridge Medical Library, 08.11.11)
This idea could be extended further to paid-for conferences. Obviously such conferences do not want to lose money and attendees by providing all talks online for free. However, a two-tier approach might provide a solution – a physical conference could be accompanied by a cheaper online conference for those unable to finance a trip away. Access to videos of presentations, both live and recorded, could be password protected and passwords would be given on payment of a fee.
The opportunity to attend a conference at a reduced fee, albeit online rather than in the physical world, has the potential to appeal to organisations with restricted budgets. This approach might increase the number of delegates able to attend a single event and also the number of professional development events an individual could attend in a single year. For example, I was only able to go to the ILI 2011 conference due to the generosity of MMIT and ILI, otherwise it would have been impossible. The conference fees alone would have swallowed a large part of the annual training budget for all staff in my library. It was a wonderful conference and I learnt a lot which I have been able to take back with me. I am extremely grateful to ILI and MMIT. As the conference continued I met others too, who without the aid of an organisation other than their employer would have been unable to attend. The provision of online attendance at a lower rate might enable more Information Professionals to benefit from the conference. Such conferences would also reflect an increasing trend amongst Information Professionals for online collaboration and learning. Meeting online rather than in a physical location is becoming more and more routine. An illustration of this is the 23 Things course for UK public libraries. (http://23things.wetpaint.com/) The course is based on online material from other Information Professionals shared using a creative common licence and many of the members of the four partnership authorities and indeed many of the participants have only ever met and worked together online.
It seems unlikely that an accompanying online conference would discourage those institutions who could afford to from sending members to the physical conference. One major benefit of attending a physical conference is the opportunity to meet other information professionals who are interested in similar things to you. For those attending online, this aspect of conferences can, in part, be met through the use of chat facilities such as those included with Blackboard. This enables delegates to interact with both the speaker and other participants. However, whilst it is extremely useful to be able to interact online, somehow nothing quite matches face-to-face interaction. Indeed throughout ILI 2011 several people excitedly told me they had just met someone in real life that they had hereto only interacted with online and I did myself.
To conclude, whilst a two-tier approach to conferences may not be for everyone, I would hope that all of us will be able to take some of these lessons on information sharing from ILI 2011 and Library 2.011 and use them in our every day practice. Learning experiences no longer need to be located in a single time and place, but, by innovative use of online tools, can be made available to interested parties wherever and whenever they may be, opening up the whole experience.
The winner of our draw for a free place at this week’s Internet Librarian International show is Claire Bell, Multimedia Librarian at the Media Centre in Aberdeen Central Library. Congratulations to Claire.
Look out for other draws for key conferences taking place in 2012.
Sure, Internet Librarian International kicks of tomorrow but you can also catch up with what happened at the *other* conference — most of the slides from Internet Librarian 2012 have now been posted on the InfoToday website. There are some handy case studies about using QR Codes in the stacks, developing mobile apps, (re)developing library websites, ebook licensing and plenty more.
Presentations from the recent Umbrella conference (with more to follow)
Alan Poulter – IT for the LIS Professional
Dave Puplett – How Libraries can bridge the Information Web and the Social Web- Dave has also written an article on this topic for the August issue of MmIT journal.
David Gill – Beyond Lurk & Like
Nigel Ford – Technology, personalisation and librarians: research and practice (PDF)
MmIT will be co-hosting six papers at CILIP’s Umbrella 2011. Details of the papers are below. Three representatives from MMIT Group will be at the conference: Andrew Cox, Jon Fletcher and Catherine Dhanjal, managing editor, MmIT journal. Jon Fletcher has also had a poster accepted for the conference, based on his article on mobile webpages vs apps which appears in the May issue of the journal.
July, Day 1: Libraries
on the Move (‘Digital inclusion and social change’ track, Session B, 14.15 – 15.30; BMLG/MmIT joint session)
IT in the country: library services to rural areas
Rural Networking: How good IT underpins partnership working and thus effective rural engagement.
Darren Smart, Essex County Council and John Davis,
Where does the library fit in a mobile application: This presentation
is a case study of a project at Liverpool John Moores University, where the
library was asked to lead on the development and implementation of its
institutional mobile application.
Mandy Phillips, Head of Business and Information
Systems, Liverpool John Moores University Library
July, Day 1: Store, Preserve and Retrieve – Leave it to the Librarians! (‘Technologies and access’ track, Session C, 16.00 – 17.15; CIG/UCR/MmIT joint session)
Open access and institutional repositories: the University of Glasgow experience:
This session examines the role of librarians in dealing with information and
metadata in Open repositories
Susan Ashworth, Assistant Director, Research and
Learning Support Services, University of Glasgow
storage for Newcastle University: Newcastle University is
currently developing its offsite store which is situated five miles from the
main campus. Although the store is not scheduled to be completed until
June/July 2011, this presentation provides an update on progress, describe the planning process necessary for the Store, as well as highlight longer term
plans for 2012 to convert existing shelving space in the Main Library into
extra study space for library users.
David Errington, University of Newcastle
Research repositories: the role of library staff in their management: This presentation will look at the growth in open access research repositories in the UK, the skills and requirements for staff who manager these and the role of support services such as the Repositories Support Project.
Jacqueline Wickham, Nottingham University
July, Day 2: What
we know about internet information seeking (‘Technologies and access’ track, Session D, 09.30 – 10.45; MmIT/ELG joint session)
Internet use by general public: an overview of how public search and
evaluation information on the internet based on a series of major AHRC
Professor Nigel Ford, The Information School,
University of Sheffield
Google Generation: understanding information – seeking behaviours in the digital environment: Ian will outline the exciting developments
CIBER is engaged in, building on the “Google Generation” and “Virtual
Revolution” studies, in understanding how information seeking practices have
radically changed over the last two decades and what are the implications of
Ian Rowlands, Professor of Information Science, Dept of
Information Studies, UCL
July, Day 2: IT for the LIS professional (‘Workshops – tools and techniques’ track, Session E, 11.15 – 12.30; MmIT/LIRG joint session)
What knowledge and skills does a digital librarian need? Alan Poulter presents the work at Strathclyde
on integrating IT skills into the LIS curriculum and David Stuart makes the
case for librarians learning programming.
Stuart, Web Analyst and Alan Poulter - Course Director, MSc/PgDip Information
Management, Dept of Computer and Information Sciences, University of
July, Day 2: Mashed libraries (‘Workshops
– tools and techniques’ track, Session F,
14.15 – 15.30; MmIT/LIRG joint session)
Mashed Libraries – bringing together interested people and doing interesting stuff with libraries and technology: Have you heard about
Mashed Libraries? Want to find out more about what it is, what we do and how
you can get involved? Don’t be put off by the technology word, if you have
ideas about doing things better in your library come and be creative.
Mandy Phillips, Head of Business and Information
Systems, Liverpool John Moores University Library
While I haven’t been able to keep up with Computers in Libraries 2011 conference on Twitter (a combination of conference noise, time differences and crazy busyness), I’ve been keeping an eye out for any write-ups and presentations as they become available.
While it was undoubtedly a shame that James Crawford (Engineering Director for Google Books) didn’t make it to deliver the keynote at CiL 2011, the panel discussion pulled together to fill the gap sounds like a very worthy substitute. Sarah Houghton-Jan has a great write-up of this and other CiL2011 sessions on the Librarian in Black blog (and you can catch Crawford’s keynote at Europeana Open Culture 2010 on YouTube if you still feeling bereft).
The Demonstrating the Impact of Public Access Technology session has been blogged and it’s good to hear that the survey tool used will be shared.
You can also find slides from the Drupal session (focusing on RSS) on SlideShare.
Pancakes and Mash, the eighth (!) Mashed Library event was held yesterday, organised by the gang at University of Lincoln. It was a great day looking at various existing projects that involved mashing data together (in various ways and by various means) as well as giving attendees a chances to get involved in library-related mashups.
The keynote speaker was Gary Green (Surrey County Council), one of the key people behind the ‘Voices for the Library‘ campaign. Gary gave an overview of how this project began and how it facilitates sharing info between the many local library campaigns underway. He also gave an overview of the various tools that have helped make it such a success. Among these, the VftL team credits Twitter with playing a major role in bringing the project together while they also use Facebook, Delicious, email lists, Google Fusion tables, wikis and blogging to help get the word out.
One aspect of this I hadn’t fully explored until now was the map of libraries under threat — which is now generated using Google Fusion tables from data on Public Library news. You can see the map on libraries.fromconcentrate.net. If you haven’t explored the Voices for the Library website yet, it’s a great resource of campaign news and advice.
The second session was split into a few different workshops. I attended the ‘Metadata Forum: building a community around metadata‘ session led by Stephanie Taylor from UKOLN — while trying my best to also stealthily follow the other sessions on Twitter. The Metadata Forum is a JISC-funded project that aims to build a community around metadata for those who work with it in any capacity. They’re interested in all levels of metadata users, not just the specialists and based on attendance, a *lot* of us are working with metadata. You can read more about the forum on their blog on the UKOLN website.
The other sessions were “We Can Haz Ur Data!?” with Alex Bilbie & Nick Jackson from the University of Lincoln and “Using Web2.0 tools to save libraries” with Gary Green, building on his keynote talk. Both sounded really interesting and hopefully notes and/or slides will be circulated soon.
After lunch, Alison McNab (De Montfort University) gave a talk on ‘mash at lunchtime’ for those looking for shorter, onsite events and Stephanie Taylor (UKOLN) led the discussion on ‘Across the divide: how geeks and non geeks can have meaningful conversations with each other, and how we’re all the same, really‘. There was also the option to get some mashing done in the other spaces open to attendees — which turned into a great walkthrough session on Yahoo Pipes by Paul Stainthorp.
It was a productive and creative day and I think it’s safe to say that everyone went home brimming with ideas and armed with an extensive list of web apps and tools to try out. Thanks to Paul and the rest of the gang at Uni of Lincoln for organising such a great event (and to Elif Varol for the cakes). Only tentative rumours about the next mashed libraries day at the moment but keep an eye on the wiki as I’m sure there be more news soon and there’s plenty to get started with in the meantime.
KohaCon10, marking the 10th anniversary of the Koha Library Management System, kicked off today in Wellington (give or take a pretty big time difference). There will be 3 days of conference followed by a three-day developer hackfest. They’ve also planned a trip to Levin in the Horowhenua, birthplace of Koha. All in all, it runs from 25 October to 1 November.
Coinciding with this nicely is the release of Koha 3.2.0, the latest major release of the Koha software. You can read all about the latest features and enhancements on the announcement page.
For those who couldn’t make the conference, you can keep up with Internet Librarian International 2010 in a few different ways. There’s a (hyper)active Twitter feed (and subsequent archive and analysis) and the The #ILI2010 Daily for starters. Owen Stephens is also managing to keep a pretty extensive account of proceedings on his Overdue Ideas blog.
update: There’s also some ILI2010 liveblogging on the Geekfest blog.